The City of Blackwell's wastewater plant gets colorful; informational facelift

by Charles Gerian

The City of Blackwell’s wastewater treatment plant, located on east Stevens Avenue past the city’s animal shelter, has a new coat of water-green paint around its facilities.

It features a new blue mural on an old water treatment basin to greet and educate visitors.

“We believe in animal life here,” Director Kent Turner said. “We have a responsibility to not only the community of Blackwell, but the river’s ecosystem as well as our sister cities downstream.” The hand-painted mural lists all of the mammal, amphibian, reptile and bird life in Oklahoma that depends on water that comes through Blackwell’s plant.

Mammals include eastern moles, river otters, rabbits, coyotes, bats, beavers, mountain lions and bobcats. Amphibians include frogs, newts, salamanders and grogs. Reptiles include geckos, lizards, roadrunners, turtles and whiptails.

More than 50 types of birds also The wastewater plant processes up to 1.5 million gallons per day and holds 300,000 gallons of water at any time. The water is tested for more than 200 different things, including chemicals, metals and organic compounds. The water here, which includes sewage and drained water, can be used to water crops, fight fires and cool industrial machinery. Once processed and cleaned, it is safe for human consumption.

This eco-friendly plant takes water from the Chikaskia River, processes it through exhaustive testing and treatment, and produces statistically excellent water for both the environment and for municipal use, Turner said.

“We have some of the best possible numbers in the state from the Department of Environmental Quality, who have been extremely satisfied with our quality,” Turner said. “We’ve had excellent numbers from them.”

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